The Chicago Bears were the NFL's best pass defense in 2018, but even they had their weaknesses. We chart every team's strengths and weaknesses -- or, in Detroit's case, mainly their weaknesses, because the Lions had few strengths.
Scott Spratt's Archive
In two NFL seasons, Alvin Kamara has established himself as one of the best pass-catching running backs in the NFL, no matter where he lines up on the field. Scott Spratt looks at other running backs and tight ends who don't always line up at running back or tight end.
ESPN+ has our annual look at all 32 teams ranked by their talent under 25. This year we changed things to also consider value and length of players' current contracts. We end up with Cleveland and Indianapolis on top, and a couple of surprising Super Bowl contenders on the bottom.
Tyreek Hill was the NFL's most valuable wideout from the slot last year, while Mike Evans was the most productive when lined up out wide. Our numbers show which players specialized in one role or the other, and whose performance changed from 2017.
NFL teams are using play-action more than ever, and Sean McVay is at the front of that revolution -- but he's not relying on a play-action style that's common among Andy Reid and his disciples.
Only a few offenses these days use fullbacks regularly -- which can yield some unusual results for those teams' defenses.
The I formation is not dead! The Patriots won the Super Bowl while using a lot of James Develin, while Kyle Juszczyk was a key player for San Francisco. We look at which teams still rely on fullbacks and which don't, how teams are changing in this regard.
To blitz, or not to blitz, that is the question: whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of unpressured passers, or to take arms against a sea of blockers and by sheer numbers end them.
The Khalil Mack trade, as you can imagine, had major effects on the defenses in Chicago and Oakland. Which defenses got the most pressure in 2018? Which coach has a track record out of getting the most out of his teams' pressures?
Patrick Mahomes was the best quarterback under pressure in 2018. He was also the best quarterback without pressure, becoming the first quarterback on record to lead the league in both categories in the same year.